Derek Prince - The Word Of God Is Living and Powerful
Now, let’s go on to a really interesting and important theme which is the nature of God’s Word. This is very, very interesting. In Hebrews chapter 4 verse 12, we get a kind of analysis of the nature of the Word of God. Hebrews 4 verse 12, For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, [you’ll notice it’s compared again to the sword] piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So the Word of God is not dead, it’s not just black marks on white paper, it’s not just sounds that come from a preacher’s mouth, it’s alive, it’s living and wherever it comes it brings life. The Word of God is alive and powerful. Thank God it is powerful. It’s more powerful than all the lies with which satan has filled the world. The Word of God is the ultimate answer. And then it says: piercing even to the division of soul and spirit. Spirit...
This is very interesting. I must not get sidetracked on it. But, the Bible reveals that man is a triune being, Spirit, soul and body. a triune being created in the likeness of a triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But, the only way we can learn to distinguish between the soul and the spirit is by the Word of God. It’s the only instrument that's sharp enough to penetrate. and separate what is soulish from what is spiritual. It’s very important because if you study the New Testament, and we don’t have time to go there, you’ll find that the soulish in many ways is in opposition to the spiritual. In 1 Corinthians chapter two, Paul says the soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually discerned.
So, it’s important that we learn to distinguish between what is spiritual and what is soulish. But only the Word of God can do that. It can also divide between the joints and the marrow. So the Scripture can penetrate where no surgeon’s scalpel can penetrate and where no psychiatrist’s probing can penetrate. It’s the only thing that takes us right into the very depths of human personality. And then it says: it’s a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. To discern means to analyze, to see into the very nature of something.
And somebody said years ago when I was a young believer, and it’s always stuck with me: Remember, when you’re reading your Bible, your Bible is also reading you. It’s a two way transaction. It was so vivid to me because I started to read the Bible simply as a professional philosopher treating it as a work of God. But as I went on reading and I found it very dreary and only my determination that no book would ever defeat me kept me reading. I began to feel quite different about myself. I thought up to that time I already had the answer to everything. Philosophy could provide a solution to everything. But as I went on reading the Bible I became less and less self-confident. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me.
I thought I was getting old before my time although I wasn’t even 25 at the time. I didn’t realize, while I was reading the Bible, the Bible was reading me. And at the end I felt like Belshazzar at his feast, when the writing appeared on the wall. You’ve been weighed in the balances and found wanting. And my self-conceit, my pride, my arrogance, my intellectual assurance, all began to wilt before the Scripture. And yet, I didn’t believe it at the time but it was still doing its work.
So, bear that in mind, when you read your Bible your Bible is also reading you. Now, let’s turn also to 1 Thessalonians for a moment, just for one further aspect of what the Bible will do. 1 Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 13. Paul is writing to the believers in Thessalonica, who had responded in a wonderful way to the message of the gospel. And he says: For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men but as it is in truth the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
You understand that what the Bible will do in you depends in part on how you receive it. If you merely receive it as the word of God it will not work its full work in you. As a word of man, I'm sorry. As a word of man. But, if you receive it as the Word of God it works effectively in you. And when you read your Bible take time from now and then to say to the Lord: I believe this is your Word. I receive it as your Word, let it work in me everything you’ve sent it to do, in every area of my being, spirit, soul and body, because I believe it.